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Lake Pisiquid to be filled as firefighters request access to water

By Evan Taylor Jun 2, 2023 | 12:26 PM

Premier Tim Houston and MLA Melissa Sheehy-Richard appeared in a promotional video in May calling on the federal government to reach a decision on the situation in Lake Pisiqud. Photo: PC Caucus.

In response to the ongoing battle against historic wildfires raging across Nova Scotia, an Emergency Order has been signed by EMO Minister John Lohr to ensure that Hants County municipal fire services have reliable access to a water supply in the event of a fire, according to Hants West MLA Melissa Sheehy-Richard.

Sheehy-Richard expressed concern over the insufficient water levels in Lake Pisiquid, which hindered firefighters’ ability to combat fires effectively. Given the unacceptable risk posed by the low water levels, especially during this critical time of widespread fires, the Emergency Order mandates the closure of the sluice gates and the filling of the lake. This action will enable firefighters to carry out their duties and protect the local community.

The issue traces back to March 2021 when the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued an order requiring the provincial government to open the gates of an aboiteau, resulting in the drainage of Lake Pisiquid.

Responding to the escalating situation, Minister Lohr declared a State of Emergency in the area, superseding the federal order. The declaration instructs the operators of the sluice gates connected to Lake Pisiquid to close them promptly, effective from 8:00 pm. The primary aim is to maximize the water supply available for wildfire suppression efforts.

Hants West MLA Sheehy-Richard emphasized the strain faced by fire services across the province as they contend with unprecedented wildfires. She expressed gratitude that the government is taking action to provide local firefighters with the best possible chance to keep the community safe during this perilous time.

The emergency measures put in place by the Nova Scotia government demonstrate a proactive response to the challenges posed by the wildfires. By ensuring an adequate water supply for firefighting operations, officials hope to enhance the effectiveness of the firefighting efforts and minimize the potential impact of the fires on the affected communities in Hants County.

As the battle against the historic wildfires continues, residents and authorities are urged to remain vigilant and adhere to any additional directives issued by the relevant authorities to ensure their safety and support the firefighting operations.


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